Foreman Wins in Dumfries Election Upset
By URIAH KISER
DUMFRIES, Va. — Gerald Foreman has been chosen Mayor of Dumfries during a town election that saw heavy voter turnout.
Foreman won with 57 percent of the vote and faced Interim Mayor Nancy West who has served as interim mayor since November following the death of Mayor Fred Yohey. West also served on the Town Council since 2008 and has lived in the town since 1963.
Foreman, who currently serves as a Town Council member, ran on a platform of lower taxes, abolishing the Business and Professional Licensing Tax, or BPOL – a tax on business gross receipts – as well as placing the town’s needs in the forefront, and in some cases, on the same level as the needs of the county it sits in, Prince William. He could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.
More to the Story: See election results from the Town from the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Three Town Council seats were also up for grabs on Tuesday. The only incumbent council member that will return to the governing body is Vice Mayor Willie J. Toney.
“This is a diverse community, and each one of these diverse neighborhoods all need certain things, like sidewalks and a sound wall, and you have to listen to them. Because if you’re talking too much they won’t know you’re listening to them,” said Toney.
A former Dumfries Town Council member, Charles C. Brewer, and newcomer Helen Reynolds will fill seats that will be vacated by current council members Dorothea Barr, and Gwen P. Washington who did not seek reelection.
During the last hour of voting on Tuesday, crowds gathered outside town hall which served as a polling place. As police officers directed in and out of the tiny establishment, election officials inside reported 400 people had come to cast their ballots by 6 p.m. – which is an unusually large amount of ballots cast during town elections normally held in May.
Many of the late voters said they cast their ballots for Nancy West, a retired school system employee who they hoped would be able to do more for children in the town.
“We need more activities for children,” said Dumfries resident David Miles. “We don’t vote straight Republican or Democrat, we look at the person and then make a decision.”
Other residents said they cast their vote in hopes elected leaders would conduct themselves more professionally during meetings.
“I think it would be wonder to have a Town Council that could just work together on the issues facing Dumfries, without all of the infighting and squabbling,” said Dumfries resident Michelle Wheeler.
The newly elected mayor and council members will be seated July 1.